NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The UK PM wants an early general election to strengthen her majority in parliament, stoking market hopes of a friendly exit from the EU. Those may be misplaced. Elsewhere, Trump’s Buy American, Hire American plan is deeply flawed. And Goldman takes a beating from Morgan Stanley.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Verizon's M&A signal is starting to come in a little clearer. The U.S. telecommunications titan reported a 20 percent drop in quarterly profit as a new sales initiative failed to attract customers. Its strategy behind buying AOL and Yahoo is perplexing. All of it probably helps explain why Chief Executive Lowell McAdam just indicated he's open to the idea of a bigger deal.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It takes the exit of dozens of advertisers and numerous protests to force change at Twenty-First Century Fox, it seems. The company on Wednesday parted ways with top Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly in the wake of the criticism and lost ad dollars that followed a New York Times report cataloging sexual-harassment allegations he and Fox had settled. The U.S. cable channel’s chief architect, Roger Ailes, was booted amid a similar scandal nine months ago. The cleanup hardly comes across as whole-hearted.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Netflix's content crown is starting to fit a bit more comfortably. In its first quarter, the video-streaming service led by Reed Hastings missed subscriber estimates yet still managed to grab nearly 100 million customers worldwide. The plan to spend billions on films and TV series like “Stranger Things” is helping to lift its base. But it’s still far from able to justify a stock trading at 130 times this year’s estimated earnings.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A grisly murder video has muddied Facebook’s pledge to clean up the social network. Mark Zuckerberg’s firm bungled its response to the posting of a man's killing. The incident jars with the company's promise to police fake news and other objectionable posts. Silicon Valley’s content problem will need to be addressed by more than algorithms.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Taking three days to offer a basic apology to the passenger dragged off a flight suggests deeper problems at the U.S. airline. Poor leadership and processes took a toll on Wells Fargo and Toshiba, too. Executives and boards ignore the lessons of cultural failures at their peril.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The JPMorgan CEO’s latest shareholder letter hands President Trump and Republicans plenty of tips and sound bites for rolling back post-crisis rules. But the administration’s failure to replace the Fed’s departing top regulator throws more doubt on a Dodd-Frank overhaul.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Fox News has entered the spin zone. Automakers Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and BMW are among the companies pulling ads from "The O'Reilly Factor" amid a scandal involving popular host Bill O'Reilly. The cost to parent Twenty-First Century Fox is low for now. A toxic culture, however, can damage long-run efforts to broaden consumer appeal.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The activist’s proposal that the automaker split its stock to give some shareholders a perpetual dividend is a risky maneuver. President Trump’s plan for skilled-worker visas may make Canada great again. Plus, Republicans face high hurdles to overhaul the U.S. tax code.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The ad kings have faced criticism over questionable content. Now Google is in the hot seat as brands like L’Oreal pull their digital spending. Also, Lyft finds an opening as Uber hits roadblocks. Plus: Not all is copacetic between Goldman Sachs alumni in Washington.